Latinovic: Kosovo is very problematic, even from the standpoint of those who support the formation of its armed forces

Source: Kosovo Online

Former Ambassador to the OSCE Branka Latinovic tells Kosovo Online that she does not expect Pristina’s NATO membership to be on the agenda under the current circumstances because, as she says, Kosovo is problematic even from the standpoint of those who support the formation of its armed forces.

She notes that Pristina’s aspirations to join the Council of Europe and NATO are "different things."

"Pristina is in the process of joining the Council of Europe, a process that has been opened and has passed the first major condition, which is the recommendation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Of course, it is up to the Committee of Ministers to make the final decision; this issue is established in one way or another, but it has not been put on the table for an appropriate meeting," Latinovic emphasized.

Although it is uncertain when this issue will be addressed, whether by the end of the year or early next year, the procedure is open, she says, unlike NATO.

"I think the notion that Kosovo could focus more on joining NATO is somewhat encouraged by Kosovo’s change of status within the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, where it has been advanced, and this is seen as a step. No, this is a very long-term process, and it primarily involves clarification, given that Kosovo is very problematic even from the standpoint of those who support the formation of its armed forces. It is also very problematic in terms of what the Ahtisaari Plan and Resolution 1244 stipulate," Latinovic explained.

She points out that these are "very unsustainable conditions under the current circumstances" for such an issue to be placed on the agenda.

"Of course, there are the four countries that are NATO members and have not recognized Kosovo’s independence. As we see, Hungary is increasingly abstaining or voting against, despite recognizing Kosovo. Here, we can primarily talk about appropriate unilateral measures, or individual measures by certain NATO countries, to strengthen the security capacity or military capacity of the authorities in Pristina," our interlocutor said.

According to her, this is happening in the sense that certain countries are donating or selling weapons to Kosovo, providing training for their personnel, education, etc.

"These are all ongoing processes, and we should certainly not close our eyes to the fact that this process of equipping and strengthening Kosovo’s armed forces is taking place, but it is a long process and must be monitored carefully," Latinovic concluded.